All Too Hard kicked into overdrive with a winning treble at Sunshine Coast, Warwick Farm and Sandown on Wednesday.
The trio saluted within a half-hour of each other to extend the Vinery sire’s lead at the top of the Australian second-season tables for winners (58) and wins (84) this season.
Evolo was first cab off the rank in the Caloundra RSL Plate (2200m) at the midweek metro meeting on the Sunshine Coast. “We have a big opinion of him,” assistant-trainer Trent Edmonds said. “It’s still only his first prep and he had them covered a long way from home.”
Feature races on the radar for the progressive stayer include the Grand Prix Stakes Gr.3 on May 26 and Queensland Derby Gr.1 on June 9.
“We expected that sort of performance today,” Edmonds added. “The only worry was how he would cope stepping up from 1600m to 2200m. But he’s a laid-back, long-striding horse and is really coming into his own now.”
Evolo was an $80,000 buy for owner Rob McAnulty from Baramul Stud at the 2016 Magic Millions 2YO Sale. His dam Asset Rain (Encosta De Lago) is a three-quarter sister to Emirates Stakes Gr.1 winner Titanic Jack.
Cormac gave comeback jockey James McDonald a win, albeit by a hard-fought head, at his first ride back after 18 months at Warwick Farm.
“He found the line really well and toughed it out,” J Mac explained. “But my legs feel like jelly!”
Trained by Chris Waller, Cormac races for a Star Thoroughbreds syndicate after graduating from the 2016 Gold Coast Magic Millions for $175,000. All Too Hard got him from 2009 Grand Prix Stakes Gr.3 winner Saint Minerva (Galileo).
“Cormac had been doing things wrong so we added a bubble-cheeker,” stable foreman Charlie Duckworth said. “He didn’t over-race today and was very professional.”
And it was only right that Riviera should complete the treble for Team Hawkes at Sandown Hillside. They trained All Too Hard and the 2yo filly is their 11th individual winner from his first two crops.
The debutante raced on the pace and held out De Little Sister to win by a nose. The runner-up, who was also facing the starter for the first time, filled out the quinella for All Too Hard.
Riviera cost $50,000 at the 2017 Inglis Melbourne Premier and her dam What A Treat is by Team Hawkes champion Lonhro. “She’s a tough, gutsy little filly,” co-trainer Wayne Hawkes said. “We kept her and she races in our family’s colours – Mum will be over the moon.”
All Too Hard stands for $33,000 (inc gst) at Vinery and he sired regally-bred trial winner Divanation at Tatura on Monday. A 3yo daughter of Makybe Diva, she cruised in by three lengths for trainer Tony McEvoy.